One Second After: Family Plan / Communication

This is the first topic for our Group Book Discussion of the novel One Second After. To return to the main discussion page click here.

In the story, many people were at work, living away from home, out of the country, etc. Communications were entirely shut down and the only way to find out if loved ones were ok was to walk to wherever they were. For several weeks there wasn’t any radio communication for news/help outside of their local community.

QUESTIONS TO PONDER

  • Does your family have a set meeting place thought of beforehand?
  • Think about your daily work commute, what route you would take home?
  • What should you keep in your car to help you make a long walk home?
  • What plans could you make in order to help/check on the safety of extended family further away? (i.e. does anyone have an old car? Is there a central location people could meet? etc.)
  • Are both spouses equally knowledgable in survival methods in case you are separated at the time of the attack?
  • What sorts of radios would work after an EMT or how would you protect at least one to keep it functional?
  • If manual phone lines can be rigged up, do you have a landline phone?
  • What skills could you learn that could help restore communication methods?

DISCUSS

In our comments section below, ask questions, discuss your thoughts on this topic, and these questions. We will be covering a lot of the other issues over the next three days, so to keep it organized please stick with this topic.

We encourage everyone who participates to do so in a very respectful manner. As we read the novel, we soon became very aware that the discussions around this book could become very political, and personal. Such topics have a tendency to bring out strong opinions. Please share your opinions in a kind, and mature way. We reserve the right to, and will delete any comments that may be considered offensive or encourage illegal or unethical activities.

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  • Cali4nia Gal

    One thing that I’ve been thinking about in regards to an EMP, older cars should not be affected (before they started putting all the computers in cars) shouldn’t they???

    How old a car would you have to have if this is true?

    Also, can newer cars be rigged to work without the computers? can the electronics be bypassed? if so, how??

    • Andi

      The latest car you would be able to use with no problem is about 1980. And because of the way they are wired you couldn’t bypass the computers in a new car. The CPU is what makes everything run even the little parts (distributor, fuel pump, etc..)

  • TK

    Finally got our book and have it read now… Have several means of communications but need to build a Faraday Cage to protect items. Do have a functioning landline and own a pre 1948 phone with a diagram to hook it up. Biggest issue here is keeping track of elderly parents daily movements, so that IF this happened they would be easily found and then how to get them home. (Especially if the older vehicles don’t run and we are now only on foot.)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GSG35ZCKAH5LI5ZDCHVYRUKA6Y KarenB

    The communications and plans part of our emergency prep are what we are weak on. This is something that I need to bring up to dh again. I did make him a GHB (Get Home Bag) – he is less than 10 miles away but it wouldn’t necessarily be easy for him to get home. I put things in it that will allow him to be adequately clothed, fed, and watered for the trip home – like I said it is not a great distance but circumstances may make it harder than usual to get home safely…. Bugging in is the more likely scenario for me – I don’t really have anywhere else to go, currently, but we need to discuss it more.

  • Wanda

    One thing to consider also. If you’re away from home and all of the cars stop working at the same time, no cell service, no electricity, grab your bag and head for home, don’t hang around. The majority of stranded people will not recognize what is happening and will wait around waiting to be “rescued”. I would think it would be better to get out of the area before they realize it’s long term and start panicking.

  • Wanda

    My husband and two of my sons work an hour from home; roughly 50 miles one way. I also do the majority of my shopping in the same city. After reading this book over a year ago I really started thinking! I put together backpacks for me and my husband, two of my sons,(one is stationed in Hawaii right now), and their wives. I included three days worth of food, basic toiletries, umbrella, folding pocket stove with solid fuel tablets, lighter, combination pocket knife with fork and spoon, bottled water, flashlight/batteries, poncho, mess kit, etc… I vacuum sealed like items in separate bags. I wanted them to at least have the basics with them. We had three backpacking tents from when the boys were teens so I put one of these in my van. The boys have also added other items to their bags this year. Our plan if we are in town when something happens is to walk to our church, it’s about halfway home, spend the night there, then continue early the next day. My sister is also about 7 miles from our house so we could stop there for another night if needed. I pray that if this ever happens my other son and his family are back on the mainland at least, hopefully somewhere in Alabama! Lord don’t let it happen while he’s deployed!

  • carolbee

    am coming late to all this, but want to get prepared
    fill me In, please???!
    WHAT ARE WE GETTING PREPARED FOR??

    • Anonymous

      this scenario is based on the book ONE SECOND AFTER. in the story there is an attack on u.s. soil via an EMP. in this situation all electrical circuits are fried! no more cars, no tv or radio. no airplanes, no trains, NOTHING! SO WHAT YOU ARE PREPARING FOR IS THE WORST CASE SCENARIO. you are on your own for the forseeable future. can you survive? how will you reunite with your family? etc….

  • Jane

    Interesting stuff – thanks for sharing. Our well is over 200ft deep so we are pretty much out of luck.

    • Brchbell

      You can still use a well bucket but it will be pretty tedious but at least you could get water from it! The same site above tells about well buckets,. We are in process of putting a hand pump on one of our lines so we can use that instead of hiking down the hill to get water.

  • Cherlynn

    We travel with our 72 hour kits so if they are away and need to get home they have supplies for 3 days. Our normal longest location would be classes in Kansas city area 96 miles. Most usually on 14 miles from jobs and shopping area. 30 miles if at church activities. We pray regularly that and EMP/earthquake won’t happen on Saturday’s so we are closer to home. #1 son plans on staying at his home. Has 1 1/2 acres he has turned into a huge garden spot, with berry bushes and orchard included. Everyone else is much closer to home and plans to head here if SHTF event happens.

  • JULIE- Food Storage Made Easy

    My husband has changed jobs since the last time we did our family plan. Looks like I need to update it, and remind him of what needs to happen in case of crisis. He probably forgets the old plan anyways- does anyone else’s spouse ever forget stuff? or is it just me… hehe

    • http://www.christinehudnall.com Christine – Hammock House

      laughs – I think the forgetting is a prerequisite. ;o)

  • Jane

    We live about 3 miles outside of a small town – if we were in that little town when the EMP occurred the kids and I could walk home. However, if we were in the next town over (18 miles), or on a field trip to the coast (75 miles over the coastal mountains) that would present a much more difficult scenario to get home.

    My parents live 3 1/2 miles from us and know to come to our location and my husband works just a 1/2 mile from their house so he could help. Or I could go and get them if the riding mower works – that way I could transport their food reserves in the wagon.

    Hubby’s family lives on the opposite coast and my sister is usually out of the country so we would have no way of getting in touch with them.

    I am more knowledgeable (and interested) than my hubby, but he was an Eagle Scout so he is not totally without skills.

    Our well is too deep for a hand pump, but we do have a large holding tank so for the short term we would be ok. Hopefully we would be able to catch enough rain water that we wouldn’t need to access the creek at the bottom of the hill.

    • Cherlynn

      How deep is your well? this site has a self made well pump that you can make and will work down to 80′ http://www.pazumpa.com/ He has the best video’s on two pages about water! Hope this helps!

    • Northeastcamp

      Having a hand pump on an outside well is a big benefit. The depth of the well is not the issue, it is the depth of the water that makes the difference. I believe that it is around 24 feet that a shallow well pump will draw the water up to the pump, after that you will need to go to a deep well pump where the pump mechanism is submerged in the water. “Bison Pump” out of Maine makes really nice stainless steel pumps and will work with you on what your needs will be. I have a 300 foot well where the water is ten feet from the surface. I installed a Bison shallow well pump in my garage connected to my water system where I can pump water into my holding tanks. Will not quite reach 60 psi but will pump up some pressure. Depending on how you pipe it, you can just have the water discharge from the pump’s spicket. Hope this helps!

  • Hntersmom

    after reading this, im so glad my husband doesnt work 1200 miles away anymore!
    meeting place: we havent really discussed it with anyone but me and dh has always told the older 2 kids to come home. we actually live close to the center of our town. They bike to and from school everyday so those things will come in handy. hubby has a 1990 dodge ram, not sure if it would be safe or not but he has no problem walking home. I sahm and our 3 y/o is enrolled parttime at a preschool which is well within walking distance for me if I need to get her(not to mention on the way home from big bro and sis’s school). my excursions are never really far and I can definitely walk(i have no vehicle at the moment anyways so i use a combo of bus/walking to do what little errands I have) My mom lives in town and my mil is 60 miles away. hubby actually said if something happens im to pack up and head for house but if my vehicle(when it gets fixed, 1998 ford f150) wont work, i guess we’ll be staying put.

    we dont currently have landline phone service, but i do have one that is not cordless that I always kept for when the power went out(when we did have service)

    Skills, well, hubby definitely has all the skills. the older 2 can chop wood and start a fire but im pretty much useless. i really need to learn!

  • Hntersmom

    after reading this, im so glad my husband doesnt work 1200 miles away anymore!
    meeting place: we havent really discussed it with anyone but me and dh has always told the older 2 kids to come home. we actually live close to the center of our town. They bike to and from school everyday so those things will come in handy. hubby has a 1990 dodge ram, not sure if it would be safe or not but he has no problem walking home. I sahm and our 3 y/o is enrolled parttime at a preschool which is well within walking distance for me if I need to get her(not to mention on the way home from big bro and sis’s school). my excursions are never really far and I can definitely walk(i have no vehicle at the moment anyways so i use a combo of bus/walking to do what little errands I have) My mom lives in town and my mil is 60 miles away. hubby actually said if something happens im to pack up and head for house but if my vehicle(when it gets fixed, 1998 ford f150) wont work, i guess we’ll be staying put.

    we dont currently have landline phone service, but i do have one that is not cordless that I always kept for when the power went out(when we did have service)

    Skills, well, hubby definitely has all the skills. the older 2 can chop wood and start a fire but im pretty much useless. i really need to learn!

  • Julie K.

    We do have a designated family meeting place. My husband mountain bikes and keeps a bike at work, so he would be able to get home fairly easily. I am a stay-at-home mom so I don’t really have a commute. We do keep basics stocked in each of our cars like water, blankets, hand warmers, food, a first aid kit, and some other basics. If I had to walk home form running errands, I would be OK I think. My husband and I have similar skills, but I do have more first aid training. All of our family is very long-distance, so a central meeting place is out of the question (we stretch from WA state to NYC). We do have a landline, but I have absolutely no skills in that area.

  • Carla

    Not sure if this is the appropriate place to ask this question, but what about if your house
    is on sewer? Are there any options?

    • Ipreach4god

      not too sure about that, but i do have, and do not want to use unless i have to, a 5 gal. bucket with a toilet seat and trash bags..
      i am considering buying a 55 gal. roller storage tank to tie into my toilet
      upstairs…take it out the back and dispose of it…

  • Bonnie

    Reading through all of the comments here, I got some great ideas! Thanks everybody! I am going to check out the foldable bikes as I work 40 minutes away from home. A backpack with supplies to last a few days on the road (pup tent, food, etc) will be put in the trunk this weekend. Luckily, my partner works in the same building as I, so we would be together when it happened. I am also going to map out a route so that we will know it by heart and won’t have to rely on electronic means as there won’t be any.
    My main concern is my daughter and grandchildren as they live an hour and a half (by car) away and they live in an apartment.

    • Ipreach4god

      as for the foldable bike…i am not to sure about these..they weigh on the average of 40 lbs…a normal bike weighs about 18-24 lbs… i think a better alternative would be to keep a bike at work…or on a hitch style bike rack…i know you run the risk of it being stolen, but there are locks to prevent it…

  • Ipreach4god

    a family plan…well, i have taught my family that we will stay in place…and if we are away to get home…by any means necessary…both of my children are home schooled, so that eliminates that, but if we are not together than all of us know the plan…part of this is also that each vehicle has a firearm in it at all times…yes that can be a scary thing today, but i want my family safe when we travel…

    i am not sure how we will communicate if this happens, but i have a small ham radio in a Faraday cage at the house…sure this will not be of great use if we are away, but we will be able to communicate for news and info if things go wrong…

    my wife is not a survival expert, but growing up in the country she knows how to camp out…and hike…as for myself i am a former Army Ranger and feel more than comfortable with my own skills…

    land lines….well, we have an old intercom system from the house to the barn…not sure if they are going to survive…

    also, i know Morse code….

  • Susie

    Hi. This is something I have thought about. I think that I would take my travel bag out of the car and quietly head off road to find home. We plan to shelter at home so that is where I would head first. I don’t want to be around others who may be panicking and I don’t want any one following me home. This scenario scared me quite a bit.
    I know this is off topic (sorry) but the cleanliness aspect really got to me. I have been looking at disasters ever since particularly about the hygiene aspects needed. This is something people don’t first consider as important, it is an afterthought. It HAS to be considered as one of the first things. (That is also why I would distance myself from others…so as not to catch anything.) We would all head home to stay until we had to move somewhere else.

  • Jlbt67

    Fire Depart’s use an “elevator key” to open the doors from the outside. You can buy these. When you go into an elevator building, find a place in the lobby to hide the key. If an event occurs all the people in the building will be evacuating. When you call for help someone will hear you. Tell someone where the key is and for them to get the key and open the elevator doors. They will feel like heros :>) Find a place in the lobby for the key that you can easily direct someone to. There is a method to use the key, you can keep instructions, with the key in a baggie.

  • Jlbt67

    Fire Depart’s use an “elevator key” to open the doors from the outside. You can buy these. When you go into an elevator building, find a place in the lobby to hide the key. If an event occurs all the people in the building will be evacuating. When you call for help someone will hear you. Tell someone where the key is and for them to get the key and open the elevator doors. They will feel like heros :>) Find a place in the lobby for the key that you can easily direct someone to. There is a method to use the key, you can keep instructions, with the key in a baggie.

  • Npp1966

    Since a lot of people would not be home they’d be at work, school, etc. do we have anyone who knows how to get out of a stuck elevator?? I deliver papers in the wee hours and this occurred to me the other night. If an emp should strike when I’m in there how do I get out?. There won’t be any electric. 3 buildings I deliver in I can see the access panel in the ceiling but, the 2 – 8 stories only has lights and no view of the ceiling. I do not have first floor stair access to buildings. Googled it and didn’t find anything encouraging most said “stay put, relax, call on elevator phone or cell phone, beat on doors or wall” all said stay out of elevator shaft as “you could electrocute yourself or get caught by the elevator when it starts back up.

    • carolbee

      stay put works when lost in the wilderness, but no one KNOWS how many, many lives were lost because OF being encouraged to STAY PUT in the trade towers
      ..trust your OWN instincts! best..

  • Michelle

    Since I have 3 young kids I have always kept a stroller in my car. I think that would be extraordinarily useful in this situation if I was caught out somewhere with the kids and had to get home on foot. It’s just a cheep-o umbrella stroller but it would be something to help with the little ones. I have a mini van and it fits under the seat so it doesn’t take up extra room.
    I had my car die about a mile from home and had to walk home with the baby to call AAA, when I only had one kid, and would of killed for a stroller at that point (we are in an area with poor cell reception to start with). So I’ve had one in the car ever since.
    My DH isn’t quite as interested in being prepared as I am but I’ve made sure his car also has an emergency kit in it (mostly winter travel emergency stuff living in northern WI). He would most likely be the one caught away from home as I homeschool and am home with our kids most of the time. He works 30 miles to the north. But he knows the signs of an EMP without me having to tell him actually and would know to get his rear in gear before others started figuring things out. I think there would be a long window, maybe 24-36hrs, before the average public started really figuring things out, that this would be a long-term event, which would give those in the know time to at least get a head start on getting where they want to be.

    If anyone is interested they do have fold-able bikes that would fit in the trunk of your car. My brother is a private pilot and has one for his small plane, he is a big guy 6’8″ and he says it feels sturdy to him. He got it on eBay but aviation catalogs sell them too.

  • Andreaburrill

    if necessary, we’ll evacuate on horseback

    • J – newbie

      Wow; now that’s an option that, on reflection, it’s surprising wasn’t mentioned in the book. As someone said about bikes, though, perhaps it’s because of the mountain setting – although that seems almost counter-intuitive?

      Hmmm … actually, although I’m in a [small] city, it would be somewhat of an option here because part of the “tourist trade” is horse/carriage or horse/trolley rides, with the home farm being within 20 miles I think. Certainly would be a more immediate method of moving goods & people than trying to find & fix old cars … thanks, Andrea :-)

      • carolbee

        I like the concept of bikes…even three wheelers
        with.. as large ‘baskets’ as possible
        if our society TRULY breaks down, a dreadful thought, maybe
        but nobody can shoot a bike for food

  • http://www.christinehudnall.com Christine – Hammock House

    Well, our family lives either 14 hours north of us, or 4 hours south of us, by vehicle. So, we will pretty much be on our own as far as that goes. I will say I don’t particularly like it, the not knowing if family is okay or not.

    We are Hurricane Andrew survivors, and at that time, all of us lived within 45 minutes drive time of each other, well, 45 minutes drive before Andrew hit, afterward, it took about 2 hours to get near my parents house.

    In the book something was said about an old generator being used, that had been unplugged and survived, so it makes me wonder about old military radios and stuff, if that would work. Something to look into… and a whole lot more. :o )

  • Guest

    Just a suggestion, you can use google maps for different routes, mileage, estimated times(car, walking, bicycle). It may help for your plan to get home :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1594565996 Anonymous

    because of the book ONE SECOND AFTER i realize that i may be a long way from home when the balloon goes up. therefore in my car i have a go bag on wheels. this kit includes food to eat for myself for one week. it also includes spices, soup mixes, etc… at my work the situation is the same. i realize that if i am stuck downtown when the balloon goes up it may take me a full day or two to make it back to my family. most likely my dd will be at school and my dh will be able to run and pick her up as he is unemployed but going to school in the evenings after i get home.
    one of the things i did because of the book was google map walking directions from point A to point B. i have also driven in the neighborhoods where i would most likely be stuck walking back. because of where i live i have mace/pepper spray and not a gun. you can’t have one of those when you teach children! i have talked to my dh about what i would do if i was stuck out in the great metropolitan area and had to make my way back. i have taken measures to attain street and freeway maps so i could get around the city. once those emps hit GPS is DOWN!—mercedes

    • http://www.pathwaystopreparedness.com Lisa

      Very good analysis! I should do that planning myself. My family is distributed across a wide area during the day, and knowing how to get back together via walking path is critical.

      • Anonymous

        that’s so true. i looked at the google map walking points. one part had me walking over the aquaducts! there’s no way i’m walking over that!

  • Jessica

    Something that was not utilized much in the book, that I think would be used in an actual event like this is bicycles. I assume they didn’t pack enough punch for use in the book, but it’s definitely something to consider.

    Also – I’ve been thinking about this, as we just bought a new house, with a well. The well pump is electric. So without power, we’re without water that we don’t have stored. (Assuming we don’t have our generator, or enough gasoline to run the generator…) And, assuming the generator is mechanical enough to run!

    • http://www.christinehudnall.com Christine – Hammock House

      Jessica, the location in the book is in the mountains of Western North Carolina, that is probably why bicycles are not utilized more. I know that area, my sister lives not far from the actual towns in the book, and I cannot imagine trying to bike some of that terrain. Would if I had no choice, but I think I would look for at least moped or 3-wheeler first.

      As for your well pump – you can retrofit it for a hand-pump. I don’t have info on hand, had read about a while ago, but just do a search, I’m sure you will find info. :o )

    • melissa

      You’re right they didn’t talk much about bikes. I was thinking they used bikes all the time but that was in the Terri Blackstock books.

    • Meri

      Jessica,
      You may want to find out the depth of your well. At Menards or other building supply centers they sell a small hand pump rather cheaply. You could remove the cap from your well casing and run a pipe down to the water. Attach the pipe to the hand pump and you would be able to pump water from your well. The only problem is that these small hand pumps will only pull water from a depth of 25 feet or less. So if your well is deeper than 25 feet, you would have to find a stronger pump. I haven’t looked for one as our well is shallow and this hand pump would work fine for ours “back-up”. You could also install a concrete cistern, rain barrels etc. to help with water storage.

      • Michelle

        I’m assuming the hand pump for the well is in the plumbing dept at Menards? I haven’t seen it but have been looking for one. We are in a rural area on a well too and I have wanted one. We are right on a lake so I can haul buckets to flush toilets when the power is out (we were out for 24hrs last week so it brought this to the top of my mind again) but having drinking water would be much better. Only ones I’ve seen online are $800+ and I’m sure in a long term power outage they would be worth their weight in gold, they pump hard enough to have water flow thru the whole house, but I’m hoping to find a less expensive alternative.
        If you did get the pump at Menards and still have the SKU number I would be most grateful if you could post it. Thanks much!

        • Meri

          Hi Michelle,
          The old fashion Pitcher Pump at Menards was in the plumbing section with the other pumps. It’s $40 and will draw 25′. Sku is 6912037, I didn’t buy the one on the shelf as I already own one, but made mental note of availability and price. I think it would make a great barter item or I might get another as a “spare”. They also carry a Leather Repair Kit for these pumps for about $8, which I will get when I return. May get a few to barter with as well! Always want the back up repair items, just in case. The sku for the repair kit is 6914255.
          Farm and Fleet or Farm King are another option to call and see what they carry. I haven’t done that yet. I know there are the large sizes that are still being made too. Like the ones you would see standing in the yard of an old country house, or the ones you see under the windmills on farms. They stand about 4′ tall, will draw water from about 250′ and are much more expensive, about $800 new online. So the pump your talking about that will pump to the whole house is not out of line. Where was that online that you saw that pump? I would be interested in looking in to it.

          • Bonnie

            Also, Lehmans.com sells them so that may be an option for you.

  • Npp1966

    I would like to think wide spread panic wouldn’t happen until after the first 12 to 24 hours. I could be wrong but we should at least have 4 – 6 to get to where ever your meeting place is to be. I think I’d only have water and some snacks in the vehicle and then enough to get me home. Don’t think you’d need tons of stuff in your car unless your plans do not include getting home
    1. our meeting place is the house once here we’ll make firm plans and work on securing the property. I don’t think I will want to fight the hoardes at grocery stores so it’s imperative to get food storage and WATER!!!! in the house.
    2. both hubby and i work within 5 miles we walk. middle son college less than 15 miles walkable might take him a little bit, youngest son school less than 5 miles walkable.
    3. we all wear tennis shoes pretty much all the time. Never got into wearing flip flops or sandals (none of us) which is not the norm for most florida people. Plan on keeping extra water bottles in car and small backpack or at least plastic grocery bag to carry in the event we have to walk home. Don’t travel a lot out of our main community and then not more than 25 – 30 miles usually so we’d definitely be walking home.
    4. out of state family we’ll have no contact with will assume no news is good news. local family might take a couple of days to verify where everyone is and if they are okay but doable. have one old saturn if it continues to hold up other 3 vehicles are 2003. Some say that some 2003 vehicles may still work hopefully one of ours will. We have 2 bikes need to invest in spare tubes!!!
    5. I’m the one into preparing for the worst but, hubby is no dummy and will figure things out quickly. I will definitely need to leave a detailed notebook handy for the “boys” to have access to in the event that I’m not here. Plus make sure all food stuffs have specific directions to cook.
    6. radios I believe some radio stations will be okay will I be able to get any of them in, don’t know. but trying to make plans to put a hand cranked radio in some sort of faraday cage along with my glucose meter and a camera to document should this come to pass.
    7. No landline went totally cellular due to cost of having 2 lines. Helped financially to get rid of land line more expensive to call out of state relatives on land line then on cell phone as we all got the same carrier. I can call whenever I want now instead of once a month.
    8. Skills to help– none that I know of specifically but, I learn quick if someone can show me and I’m not afraid of working. May need to do a google search see what knowledge is needed.

    • barbie60

      I thought the only vehicles that would work would be those that are pre-75 or maybe 80. Do you have info to indicate that some 2003 and before would work? Two of three of ours are 1990′s. We have talked about trying to find a very old (70′s) pickup truck. Does anyone have add’l info on this?

  • J – newbie

    Well, that was revealing! Of the many & varied types of emergency situations that could occur – small, medium and big, including living in an earthquake zone – reading this book made me realize that an EMP is the one with the highest potential to “unhinge” me. All but two of my family is so spread out that it would be impossible to know their status, probably for a long, long time using the book’s timeline as a reasonable and perhaps even optimistic guideline.

    The not knowing would be such a significant, in-my-face fact that I can see it significantly impacting my initial and possibly ongoing ability to focus all efforts on the necessary tasks at hand. However, they say forewarned is forearmed, so I have begun ‘looking within’ to try to figure out what and how I might deal with this issue so as not to jeopardize the family that is close plus myself and my community.

    I will continue to read everyone’s input and no doubt will glean wisdom … as I have done from reading all of the 2009 & 2010 Challenge comments from all who participated (thank you).

    • Rbonner

      I understand what you’re saying, J. While I would be concerned over my husband, I wouldn’t worry as much about him because he is resourceful and I just know that unless met with violence, he would make it home one way or another. My daughter, though, is another story… I am afraid I would be physically ill until I knew she was okay. The only thing I can think though, is that adrenaline and the sheer basic human instinct to survive would kick in and that would help carry you through… that and a whole lot of prayer!

      • J – newbie

        Thank you R :-) … no doubt you’re right about survival instinct (my own and scattered family). I read your earlier post so understand your concern about your daughter, but I’ll bet she’s picked up a lot from her Mom :-) so will be more prepared & knowledgeable that most people. In that regard I need to have a bit more faith in the common sense & smarts of my own family; and, as you say, do a lot of praying – as will we all.

    • Gina

      Not sure about others areas, but our phone company switched our landlines to a digital type service. So I’m thinking they wouldn’t work either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/weirdanne Anne Meisenheimer

    and with your pack in the car it’s recommended to have an extra set clothes & shoes for everyone – how do you do that with a family of six in a mid sized car?

    my plan was 3 pairs of shoes and 3 set of clothes because we ranged in shoes from one size 12 mens – 4 about size 9.5 mens – one size 3 kids and clothes one XXXL – 4 about XL – one size 8/10 kids. All items being sweat pants & shirts, socks, and undies for wiggle room.

    With all this though your already filling at least 2 backpacks, let alone your normal supplies which would be close to 2 backpacks too. Add in your toolbox, spare, etc – not much room left for groceries LOL! Am I over or under thinking this?

    oh and for when I get another mini-van – would it be better for this stuff to be just in packs in the back? or tubs in the back? or under seats (packs or tubs)?

    • Mskajlc

      I have a three drawer plastic chest in my minivan. One drawer holds all my emergency stuff (flashlights, first aid kit, Coast guard rations, matches, dust masks etc), one drawer holds an extra set of clothing for us and the third holds seasonal items such as winter hats, gloves scarves or in the summer bug spray, sunblock, umbrellas). Twice a year I change out the clothing and update batteries and first aid items. I homeschool my kids and we are on the road quite a bit so I normally have snacks and drinks packed. I invested in a larger heavy duty jogging stroller that will accomodate 100lbs, and the plan is to use the stroller stuffed with my tiny 5 yr old and all the things I would need for a trek home. I also carry a cooler with water bottles and juice boxes. If I know I will be a good distance from the house I will throw in our BOB’s, which are packed for a three day bug out if needed.

    • Treefroggie81

      One thing that we’ve done with our bags is to pack our clothing in those Space Bags that you vacuum the air out.  It’s saved a lot of room and we’ve been able to pack our clothes and extra blankets for the car. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/weirdanne Anne Meisenheimer

    and with your pack in the car it’s recommended to have an extra set clothes & shoes for everyone – how do you do that with a family of six in a mid sized car?

    my plan was 3 pairs of shoes and 3 set of clothes because we ranged in shoes from one size 12 mens – 4 about size 9.5 mens – one size 3 kids and clothes one XXXL – 4 about XL – one size 8/10 kids. All items being sweat pants & shirts, socks, and undies for wiggle room.

    With all this though your already filling at least 2 backpacks, let alone your normal supplies which would be close to 2 backpacks too. Add in your toolbox, spare, etc – not much room left for groceries LOL! Am I over or under thinking this?

    oh and for when I get another mini-van – would it be better for this stuff to be just in packs in the back? or tubs in the back? or under seats (packs or tubs)?

  • Rise’

    I personally am fortunate as I work from home so should something happen during work hours I am where I need to be. However, my daughter works about 25 miles away and is not in great health so that would be a major ordeal for her to walk that far. My husband is always out and is sometimes a couple hours away. I never thought about the idea that I could be home alone for a while as well. I guess I need to add that to my list of things to consider in my plan… what if Bill is not here to lift, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/weirdanne Anne Meisenheimer

    I wonder if the pack you store for a possible walk home should include things that are intentionally expendable or not? Should you have an idea of certain items you should remove from the pack and pocket so if the pack was stolen then you’d still be ok or is this going overboard in light of the panic that will probably be in place?

    Another thing I wonder – in setting a meeting place or plan of action shouldn’t you take into consideration ALL possibilities? like being at the grocery store, etc. And then do you take main roads or side roads? If there is a panic then side roads would be better, but if your alone or it’s at night then main roads – panic or not – would probably be safer. Right?

    this whole subject scares me silly thats why after the 7 day challenge I read this book in a effort to understand which I hope will calm my fears – exact ideas I hope will help too =)

    • nobodyssister

      Very good to have 2 or 3 routes in mind to get home from work, school, grocery store, church or anywhere else you are likely to be at more than once a week.

  • Pandabingham

    Luckily we live in a small town where everything is just a few miles apart…about 3 miles to my husbands work and less then 2 to all the local stores. I always keep snacks and water in the car but never thought of what I would do if I had to take them with me. Looks like I’ll be stashing one of our old backpacks and my second to newest walking shoes somewhere in the back.

  • nobodyssister

    You know, I had considered buying a pair of Tracfones for me and my husband and storing them in an ammo can as a backup to our regular cellphones. The enclosed metal is supposed to act like a Faraday cage. But would the cell towers get fried by the EMP? If so, cellphones won’t work even if they are protected in Faraday cages.

    • Michelle

      The ammo can would have to be grounded. I saw on an another website the suggestion of using an aluminum trash can with a tight-fitting lid to protect a generator and grounding it with copper wire or even grounding it on copper piping if it was kept in a basement.

    • Guest

      I don’t believe cell phones would work, there are alot of circuit boards and power going to those towers. I also don’t think the huts are protected. I would imagine telecommunications would be fried.

  • Melissa

    Ok, I’ve read 4 books on the matter since then so I might mix them up. I’m not remembering any way to make contact in a few weeks. Seems like they had no communication at all.
    We have no meeting place set up. My husband and I were just discussing this. We would head to our house. We live approx 20 miles from work. I’m considering bringing my bike to work and leaving it here.

    I think for it to register for my adult sons, I will have to get them the book to read.

    I do have a hand crank radio but would it work?

    On contacting family far away, there would be no way unless mail carriers started moving or someone would actually walk/ride a bike or have an older working vehicle. On the older vehicles, even then, if all batteries died, there would be no way to start them. One would have to have a crank start vehicle, right?

    • nobodyssister

      I don’t think batteries die, just the delicate microcircuitry in the computers in the newer cars. You shouldn’t need a crank start vehicle. My husband actually has a ’73 Volkswagen bus that he is restoring. We intend to use that as post-EMP transport if we should need it. Needless to say, Jim Bartlett was my favorite character; wanted to see more of him!

    • melissa

      I’ve been thinking of something else that is a very common item that everyone should start collecting and that’s water filters. (Berkey would be nice but so expensive) I’m thinking more along the lines of brita or pur water filters. Picking up a few packs here and there. Again, I know they aren’t as good as Berkey but they do help remove contaminates. Just a thought.

      • melissa

        I’m sorry, that was supposed to go on the second discussion.

  • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi – Food Storage Made Easy

    My husband is an airline pilot so this actually panics me a lot. I need to not count on having a husband around to help. And potentially not be able to meet up with him for a LONG time. He did tell me that his aircraft would be flyable manually if he were in the air when an attack hit.

    • Blackmon1958

      I know how you feel. My husband is a truck driver and could be anywhere. We are getting him supplies to last a week, to put in the truck should he be stranded far away from home.